We Just Discovered the Best Healthy Beverage at Trader Joe's (and It Couldn't Be Weirder)

*Reassess everything we thought we knew*

Trader Joe's Organic Sparkling Apple Cider Drinking Vinegars
Photo: Trader Joe's

Here at Real Simple, we’re endlessly thirsty for new uses for vinegar. Vinegar for cleaning, vinegar for cooking, even vinegar for beauty.

But vinegar for drinking—who knew?

Trader Joe’s did. As per usual, the grocery giant went and served us a weirdly genius product we never knew we needed. Enter: their new Organic Sparkling Apple Cider Drinking Vinegars.

I didn’t even know what drinking vinegar was until several months ago. And alas, here I am today, sneaking around with sweaty, shaky hands hankering for the stuff at all hours of the night. Thanks, TJ’s!

So what are these apple cider drinking vinegars, exactly? They’re a new type of sparkling sweet-and-sour beverage you’ll find in an eight-ounce bottle in the refrigerated section at Trader Joe’s for $1.99. Similar to kombucha, drinking vinegars are fermented. These contain “the mother,” which is a collection of strands of protein, enzymes, and bacteria that provides many of the probiotics (read: healthy-gut bacterial benefits).

They come in two fun flavors: Cucumber & Mint and Strawberry & Basil. They’re both seriously refreshing, with a tart-and-tangy taste and a hint of sweet. Unlike other drinking vinegars that are typically made with cane sugar, TJ’s version is made with honey, which gives them a smoother flavor. Each bottle contains approximately one ounce of vinegar (that’s two tablespoons’ worth), carbonated water, and added flavors.

Like with kombucha, those new to drinking vinegar may deem the slightly funky flavor as an ‘acquired taste,’ but once you’re on board, there’s no going back. Each bottle has just 25 to 30 calories and less than 5 grams of sugar. Sip ‘em straight, or stir them into a cocktail as a healthy alternative to sugary cocktail mixers.

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